Homemade Sauerkraut from Scratch

Sauerkraut
Tara Fisher
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Ingredients

1pound organic white cabbage, very thinly sliced
4teaspoons sea salt
Water Kefir (optional)
1 1-quart glass Le-Parfait-style jar with a rubber seal, sterilized according to the instructions on page 11

Instructions

In homemade sauerkraut, the vegetables retain their crunch and don’t have the vinegary liquid that is ever-present in so many store-bought varieties.

  1. Place the cabbage and salt in a large glass or ceramic mixing bowl and toss together using your hands so that the ingredients are really well combined.
  2. Gently squeeze the cabbage, to encourage it to start to release some of its water.
  3. Pack into a 1-quart jar, pressing down well so that the cabbage releases more water. The cabbage should now be sitting under a small layer of water. If your cabbage doesn’t release much water, you can top it up with water kefir. It needs to stay completely submerged to ferment and not go bad, so you may need to put a small dish or weight (glass or ceramic only, not metal) to sit in the top of the jar, leaving the lid off for a couple of days, to get it started. If fermentation doesn’t happen instantly, the cabbage will stay submerged after a couple of days weighted down.
  4. Fasten the lid as soon as the cabbage stays submerged unaided—this could be right away, or after 2-5 days.
  5. Set aside in a cool, dark place for 1 week to ferment, after which it will keep, unopened, for up to 3 months. It will turn a light brown in color as it matures. Once opened, store in a cool, dark place and eat within a month.
  6. Makes a single 1-quart jar of sauerkraut.

TIPS: Do try to use organic cabbage if you can find it. Non-organic may contain chemicals that could interfere with the fermentation process. It is important that the cabbage is really tightly packed in the jar. You will need to use a little force to press everything in. Do ensure the cabbage is completely submerged in the jar. It needs to be completely covered in liquid to ferment.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Fermented © 2015 by Charlotte Pike, Kyle Books.